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Going back to Java from a hard stop - any advice?

 
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hello my fellow coderanchers.
I've been a java programmer for 15yrs. Though throughout that 15years, I am mostly writing codes as part of maintenance. I would say, 20% new development, 80% maintenance.
I had a hard stop for a total of 6 years since I went into project management.
Now, I wanted to get my feet wet and go back to development as a programmer since I really miss it.
What books would you suggest? How do I begin? Where to start?
Note that I had a hard stop, totally no Java, for 6 years straight.
TIA
 
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Well, if you feel that you're kinda back to square one I'd recommend Head First Java. Maybe as you read it will start coming back to you and the reading will go faster. I wouldn't skip the exercises though.
 
ariel omerez
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thanks for the quick response.
I did a search, and I saw Head First Java, 3rd Edition
 
Carey Brown
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How up to date is Cay Horstmann's big Core Java® book?
 
Campbell Ritchie
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A few minutes ago, I wrote:. . . Cay Horstmann's big Core Java® book?

If you look here, you will find it was published in 2021, which suggests it is up to date for Java17. Java21 is the most recent general release version, and I think it is an LTS version, so Horstmann might be writing a new edition. I don't knw any more than that.
 
ariel omerez
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Carey Brown wrote:Well, if you feel that you're kinda back to square one I'd recommend Head First Java. Maybe as you read it will start coming back to you and the reading will go faster. I wouldn't skip the exercises though.



Ok. So I am this behind with Java. The last time I worked on a job using java was using 1.5 version.
I heard there's java 21 or something. Some say at least 17.
Which version should I pick up? and please send me a good book reference. I appreciate your help
 
Campbell Ritchie
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ariel omerez wrote:. . . Which version should I pick up? . . .

5 Start off where you left off and become proficient in Java5 again. Remember there were big changes between Java1.4.2 and Java5.
Then move on to Java7. The changes to the language, e.g. enhancements to switch‑case and try were much less than before Java5, but still important. That is how we updated our Java® knowledge, learning each new version as it came out. Use the Java™ Tutorials.
Then move on to Java8. Ref: Urma Fusco and Mycroft's book Java8 in Action or Modern Java in Action (Manning 2015‑2017). There were large enhancements to the language in Java8.
Once you learn modules (Java9), you will find relatively few changes between successive versions
 
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I've found the Horstmann books to be excellent. Just the right mix of information and opinion to get you going with the right things in the right way.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Tim Cooke wrote:I've found the Horstmann books to be excellent. . . .

Me too. Horstmann is himself a nice and helpful chap.
 
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If you're looking for a starting point, take a look at the exam topics for the current Java certification. Whether you want to actually sit for the exam or not it'll give you some structure to your studies as you review the exam topics. If you feel like you have a grip on some areas you can cross them off and focus on other areas that are new or tricky.
 
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I'm in a similar position, except it's been 18 years, SCJP 1.4, but I was just put on a project that uses Java 8, so I sent off for an earlier 11th edition of the Core Java books. I've been looking for a book that could act as a shorter refresher and update but so far no luck except for one that covers Java 21. I think that studying the very new versions will just be confusing when I'm writing code for Java 8.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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My recommendation for updating to Java8 is Urma Fusco and Mycroft, Java 8/Modern Java in Action (Manning, 2015‑17).
 
Jeff Bosch
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:My recommendation for updating to Java8 is Urma Fusco and Mycroft, Java 8/Modern Java in Action (Manning, 2015‑17).



Thanks, I'll take a look at it.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Jeff Bosch wrote:. . . Thanks . . .

That's a pleasure You might be able to find a second‑hand paper copy at a good price.
 
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